Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire
Sunday Aborisade, with Agency Report
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government is determined to make a bold step on vaccines production in the country.
Ehanire said this on Friday in Abuja at the special National Council on Health meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Health.
The reports that the 2014 National Health Act recognises the NCH as the highest policy-making body within the Nigerian health sector.
The minister noted that the vaccine urgency was not just for COVID-19 adding that no one knew what was coming in the future.
Ehanire stated that as the country responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians must not believe that the pandemic was over.
He added that the detection of the Omicron variant should teach anyone that the virus keeps surprising the world.
He said, “We must not let down our guards. We must continue with our non-pharmaceutical interventions, the public health measures that are advised. We can’t do away with them. They are the most secure and the cheapest ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government was preparing to build one oxygen production plant in every state, while two would be in Lagos because of its high demand and one in the FCT.
“Oxygen should be available even at the primary healthcare centres, not just for COVID-19 but for other health emergencies,” he added.
A former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said before the COVID-19 pandemic, India was producing 50 per cent of the world’s need for vaccines.
Chukwu noted that India shared similar demographics with Nigeria and could teach the nation a number of lessons.
The minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, said Africa had suffered so much in terms of COVID-19 vaccines distributions.
He added that it was time for the continent to come together and start manufacturing the vaccines, given the global inequity in the COVID-19 vaccine distributions.
The World Health Organisation representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said health should be considered as an enabler for economic development.
In another development, the Senate on Friday assured Nigerians that the Covid-19 vaccines they had taken was capable of preventing them from contracting the Omicron variant of the disease.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, a medical doctor, gave the assurance in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.
Oloriegbe explained that investigations conducted in southern African countries had revealed that those infected with the Omicron variant had yet to be vaccinated.
He also said placing of travel bans on countries where the variant had been discovered was unnecessary.
Posted by: PunchNews